U.S. stock futures are pointed south for
a second straight day
, as Wall Street continues to feel anxieties
about Greek debt
for the euro-zone nation. Greek officials will meet today to
further debate the terms set forth by the European Union (
), European Central Bank (ECB), and International Monetary Fund (
) in return for another bailout package. Back home, a fresh round
of corporate earnings are on the slate, as well as Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to the Senate Budget Committee.
Bernanke is expected to deliver a similar message as he did to the
House Budget Committee
, but with a little more of an upbeat tone, thanks to last week's
promising jobs data
. Ahead of the bell, all three major market indexes are set to
start the session with modest losses.
In earnings news, Dow heavyweight Coca-Cola (KO - 68.03) said
its fourth-quarter profit dropped 71% to $1.65 billion, or 72 cents
per share, from last year's profit of $5.77 billion, or $2.46 per
share. On an adjusted basis, KO's earnings came in at 79 cents per
share. Revenue rose 5.2% to $11.04 billion. Results for the
beverage behemoth bested predictions, as Wall Street was looking
for earnings of 77 cents per share on $10.99 billion in sales. KO
is looking at a 1.3% rise to open the day.
Meanwhile, banking giant UBS (UBS - 14.37) saw its
fourth-quarter net profit decline 76% to 393 million Swiss francs,
well short of consensus estimates for a profit of CHF739 million.
Revenue for the period backpedaled 16% to CHF5.97 billion. "As in
the fourth quarter of 2011, ongoing concerns surrounding euro-zone
sovereign debt, the European banking system and U.S. federal budget
deficit issues, as well as continued uncertainty about the global
economic outlook in general, appear likely to have a negative
influence on client activity levels in the first quarter of 2012,"
warned UBS. The U.S.-traded shares are currently poised to open
about 1.9% lower.
(CSTR - 50.56) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $31.5 million,
or $1.00 per share - more than doubling from $11.7 million, or 35
cents per share, in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, revenue rose
33.2% to $520.5 million, due largely to a 39.5% increase in Redbox
sales. Analysts, on average, were expecting a profit of 64 cents
per share on sales of $498.1 million. Looking ahead, CSTR is
forecasting first-quarter earnings of 76 cents to 91 cents per
share, on revenue between $530 million and $555 million.
Conversely, analysts are predicting a current-quarter profit of 86
cents per share on sales of $514.5 million. In addition, CSTR
expects full-year earnings of $3.80 to $4.30 per share on sales of
$2.08 billion to $2.25 billion, encompassing Wall Street's
projections for earnings of $3.86 per share on revenue of $2.17
billion. The company also announced the $100-million acquisition of
NCR Corporation's (
) DVD business. CSTR is surging more than 18.5% ahead of the
Finally, YUM! Brands (YUM - 63.19) said its fourth-quarter
profit grew 30% to $356 million, or 75 cents per share, from last
year's profit of $274 million, or 56 cents per share. Meanwhile,
revenue jumped 15% to $4.11 billion. Same-store sales increased by
21% in China and by 1% in the U.S. Results for the fast-food
conglomerate edged past expectations, as Wall Street was looking
for earnings of 74 cents per share on $4.03 billion in revenue.
Looking ahead, YUM says it is "well-positioned to meet or exceed
[its] annual target of at least 10% EPS growth in 2012." YUM is
looking at a 1.8% increase right out of the gate.
Today's earnings docket will also feature reports from Walt
), Toyota Motor (
), Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), Hartford Financial (HIG), OpenTable
(OPEN), Panera Bread (PNRA), Perrigo (PRGO), SolarWinds (SWI), and
Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG). Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
The economic calendar kicks off today, with the Federal
Reserve's consumer credit report on tap. On Wednesday, the
regularly scheduled crude inventories report will hit the Street,
while Thursday features weekly data on jobless claims, along with
the government's wholesale inventories report. Finally, Friday
wraps up with the December trade balance, January's Treasury
budget, and the most recent Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan
consumer sentiment index. Furthermore, Bernanke will once again
step up to the podium, with the central banker slated to speak at
the NAHB International Builders Show.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 1,126,195 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to
638,375 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.57, while the 21-day moving average was 0.59.
The major European indexes are planted south of breakeven at
midday, thanks in part to a disappointing earnings report from
Swiss bank UBS. Greece also remains a point of concern, after Prime
Minister Lucas Papademos spent all night debating the terms of a
bailout package with officials from the EU and IMF. While the
country desperately needs additional aid to avoid defaulting on its
debt obligations, Greek workers kicked off a 24-hour strike today
to protest the proposed austerity measures. At last check, the
German DAX is down 1.1%, the French CAC 40 has slipped 0.5%, and
London's FTSE 100 is off 0.6%.
Currencies and Commodities
The greenback is trading higher this morning, with the U.S.
dollar index up 0.1 % at last look. Crude futures, meanwhile, have
, with the front-month contract down 72 cents, or 0.7%, ahead of
the bell. What's more, gold futures are pointed south, falling
$8.50, or 0.5%. At last check, the malleable metal was trading at
$1,716.40 an ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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